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I just renovated a desktop that had been in storage for a while and I am looking for good ideas for data analysis or numerical analysis projects in physics. I have taken up to E&M, and special relativity, (including mechanics) in college, so I know a bit, but not that much.

Also, what are good software packages to play around with? And, tutorials?

Thank you!

Edit to make the question more specific: Is there open source astrophysics software? For like, simulating galaxies and such? I know there are games like on steam where you can visualize toy galaxies, but I'm looking for something more substantive.

Alternatively, simulation tools for: electromagnetism; magnetism/magnetic materials (would be really cool to get into, as I've only been teased by this subject in the past, like histeresis and the different kinds of magnetism--and an electric field going at the speed of light is a magnetic field in a stationary reference frame!); traffic science; materials science solely; acoustics; optics/lenses; ocean science, waves and tides and such; atmospheric science; particle physics?

I've been curious about a lot of things for a while, and my life has recently mellowed out enough to give me time to get into it... sorry if that comment wasn't entirely relevant...

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closed as too broad by DanielSank, CuriousOne, John Rennie, Kostya, user36790 Feb 8 '16 at 13:38

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ If the computer has been in storage for "a while" and needed "renovation", it's probably not going to be very useful for projects that are looking for computational resources anymore (like the protein folding and climate research folks). Beyond that it's really up to you to find an application for what used to be called a supercomputer not that long ago. Unless you have a passion for something, running some code for the sake of running some code doesn't sound particularly interesting to me. Tell us what you hope to learn... that would a better starter. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Feb 8 '16 at 0:41
  • $\begingroup$ There are plenty of FOSS astrophysics programs, many of which are listed at the Astrophysics Source Code Library. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Feb 12 '16 at 11:25